Gia Grier McGinnis, Dr.PH., named executive director for Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice/York Road Initiative
Gia Grier McGinnis, Dr.PH., has been named as the next executive director for Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ) and the York Road Initiative. She will begin in the role at Loyola on June 27, 2022.
Grier McGinnis comes to Loyola from University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), where she is executive director of the UMB CURE Scholars Program, an initiative in West Baltimore that empowers middle and high school students for competitive and rewarding research, health care, and STEM-related career opportunities.
“When she joins our Loyola community, Dr. Grier McGinnis will bring considerable experience collaborating with students, faculty, and community partners in ways that help strengthen the community, while keeping the education of students at the heart of the work,” said Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D., vice president and special assistant to the president. “Her leadership skills, knowledge of Baltimore, and her collaboration with members of the community can help Loyola deepen our commitment as an anchor institution on the York Road corridor and in Baltimore.”
Prior to joining UMB in August 2019, Grier McGinnis served in progressively advancing roles at the Center for Social Concern for Johns Hopkins University, beginning in 2007 and completing her tenure there as associate director, civic engagement. In her work there, she developed community service programs, fostered collaborative partnerships with community organizations, and designed and implemented an Engaged Scholar Faculty and Community Fellows development program.
“When I visited Loyola, I was really drawn to Loyola’s values. A lot of organizations have values. But when I spent time with members of the Loyola community, I felt a real warmth and passion for justice and diversity and service that really seems to embed all areas of campus life—and I think that’s rare,” McGinnis said. “CCSJ has a great tradition and a great history. For some time, I have admired the work that was happening and the place-based approach, and I’m so excited for the future.”
McGinnis earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Washington College, Master of Science in Natural Resources & Environment from University of Michigan, and Doctor of Public Health from Morgan State University. She also has a Certificate in Risk Sciences and Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
“I look forward to meeting everyone on campus and in the community and really thinking about how we can work together to build the community-based systems we need and support the students,” said McGinnis, who was born and lives in Baltimore. “The students are our current and future leaders. The role of the university is to train students to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. And the students I met when I visited seemed really open and eager to be those leaders.”
More about CCSJ
Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ) connects campus and community for a more just and equitable world. Inspired by Loyola’s Jesuit Catholic educational mission and identity that calls for a dynamic integration of academic excellence, social responsibility, and faith that does justice, CCSJ is committed to reciprocal collaboration with community partners and to involvement with people who are marginalized. CCSJ aspires to place a shared emphasis on the engagement of Loyola students and faculty and the pursuit of positive community impact in Loyola’s immediate York Road neighborhoods, throughout Baltimore City, and the world.